Book Sale

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Not One Australian Soldier, Not One

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This is hands down the smartest thing I've read on Australia's foolish flirting with confrontation with China, from an Australian source. 

Most commentary on this issue is disconnected from reality. This article is not

"We need to spread the understanding that the United States will be leaving the Western hemisphere at some point in this century, and that the idea that it can maintain an extended empire based on navies, bases and cyberspace is a delusion based on a failure to understand how essential extreme technical superiority was to maintain such. When the US decides to go, and to recognise a truly multipolar world, we’ll be the last to be told. Our survival as this thing called “Australia” will be of no consideration at all. 

Far from lacing ourselves into AUKUS, we should be building up an independent neutral military capability, one sufficient to deal with all the ordinary geopolitical threats — blockades, border chaos, sea-lane obstruction, etc — that arise in the course of normal events. The strategic contemplation of where we would stand in the situation of a genuine, geopolitically transforming World War III should be guided by one big conversation: how and under what conditions we would simply surrender, and what form of continued cultural-political existence we could have on a continent that would then host an entirely new political entity.

Our best interest is to be a voice in the world that keeps that possibility as unlikely as possible, and that is done by doing everything to stave off wars that may escalate to a limited and strategic nuclear exchange, which is very clearly possible in the Taiwan situation. If Asia wants us, it will take us. China will take Taiwan like the first course in a banquet. The foreign policy establishment pushing us to war is a bunch of people who have never really understood or sympathised with the notions of global anti-imperialism, or what the 20th century was really about. Above and beyond venality, corruption, arms deals, they cannot see the reality of the other — the principles the enemy is working off. So they are marching us into the danger zone, through intellectual mediocrity and lack of imagination, with a Labor government that has a municipal Labourist soul, and doesn’t really want to think about these issues at all.

One single act would put that to the centre of national debate: a question from a Green or an independent to the prime minister as to whether he would send young Australians to die defending Taiwan, and whether he would expose our cities to nuclear targeting in doing so. Let’s see how he answers that, and how the Australian people react. I’m pretty sure the war lobby will find that it has advanced too far, and taken Labor with it. No war for Taiwan. Not one Australian soldier, not one Australian dollar."

We have to be realistic about Taiwan, China and our place in the world. Australia is an outer extension of British culture in the outer limits of the civilized Western world. We are a small population, rich in resources, who cannot defend ourselves if a major power wants to take us. The quicker we admit this and stop tying ourselves to a declining empire the better off we will be. 

I genuinely believe Australia can forge a neutral path forward. It's not without risks and it's not in our complete control, but China has so far shown much restraint, militarily, on the world stage and will likely continue to do so going forward. But whether they do or not, we have no choice but to pursue a strategy of neutrality, it is our only realistic path forward. The US is getting more and more aggressive on the world stage, likely because it senses its ability to assert its will is fading. If we continue to tie ourselves together with it, we paint ourselves as both a nuisance and a target. The world is becoming more multi-polar each day, and we just have to learn to live with that. Neutrality is the best option, the only option. 

It's good to see others facing the reality of where we sit. We should simultaneously make ourselves a hard target and a friendly presence in the region. Currently we are doing the opposite and that will lead to disaster. 

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Don't Be The Older Brother

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We read this in the parable of the prodigal son, 

"25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found’” (Luke 15:25-32). 

The problem with the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, is he thought he had earned everything he had. But he had not, it was all his dad's, "and all that is mine is yours" and he benefited from his dad. Without his father he would not have any of what he had. His belief that he had earned it all blinded him to the fact that but by the grace of God he would have nothing. 

This was the Pharisees biggest problem. They thought they had earned everything from God by right and by effort, rather than receiving from God in faith and by grace. We know Jesus was speaking about them, because verse 1-2 of Luke 15 says, "Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Jesus was challenging their self-righteous perspective, they could not understand the grace Jesus was showing to sinners.

They did not earn what they had, it was a gift from God, all of it. This is important: You also did not earn what you have. All that you have is a gift from God. Once you understand this, you can't help but celebrate when another is forgiven what they owe, because you know without God's grace you'd be poorer than that man. That is the truth of it. 

This was the lesson the bigger brother struggled with. This is most people's problem, you think you deserve all you have earned, but you don't. It is all from God, even your ability to work for it. Once Paul the Apostle realized this, his own life and perspective changed. He tells us, 

"9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed" (1 Cor. 15:9-11). 

Paul achieved more than all of us, but he knew it was not him. It was God. It was all of the grace of God. A man who gets this does not get bitter at others receiving good things, because he knows he has received everything he has as a gift himself, including all that he "earnt".

"1 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers" (Psalm 24:1-2)

"17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:17). 

Everything is God's, we are only receivers, who should do so with humility and joy and thankfulness. 

This is one of the most foundational teachings in the whole Bible, and one of the hardest things for people to admit and accept. Especially well-to-do, self-reliant, hard-working, and noble people. People who believe they should put in, so that they receive, and who have evidence that they have done so. The kinds of people many conservatives tend to be. But recognizing that even that temperament you have is a gift from God, helps put this in perspective. It is humbling to admit this, but it is also important to protect yourself from self-righteousness, which is a deadly sin, cloaked in decency and fairness. 

Beware bitterness at seeing others given gracious gifts, they do not deserve. We should all be thankful we do not get what we deserve, but mercy and grace instead. 

Monday 29 August 2022

How Biden's Student Loan Plan Works

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There is a lot of conflicting information about the Biden-Harris debt relief plan. I have read articles that say it favours poorer families and I have read others that say it favours wealthy, upper middle-class families. Some articles say this will cost the tax-payer, but they do not say how this is so. Others say that this plan will cause inflation, when this is not possible. The Federal loans are owed to the government, so amounts are being deleted from government accounts, and if the debts are cancelled in this way then there is no requirement to print money. In this case the monetary supply is being reduced, that is deflation. If it printed (or today more accurately it would be typed), however, and then transferred to pay off those amounts, this adds exactly zero to the monetary supply. However, there are no details mentioned about how it is being cancelled, people are only speculating at this point.  

The US Federal government website does help us with some of our questions though. The plan favours lower income borrowers

"To smooth the transition back to repayment and help borrowers at highest risk of delinquencies or default once payments resume, the U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 or $250,000 for households.

In addition, borrowers who are employed by non-profits, the military, or federal, state, Tribal, or local government may be eligible to have all of their student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This is because of time-limited changes that waive certain eligibility criteria in the PSLF program. These temporary changes expire on October 31, 2022. For more information on eligibility and requirements, go to"

So, those saying that the debt forgiveness is largely going to the affluent, are not correct. The plan does not favour high income workers. Pell Grants are given to lower income families to help poorer kids get into college: 

"In order to qualify for the Pell Grant, students need "exceptional financial need," per the FSA website.

  • The grant is often awarded to students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year, according to the Washington Post."
And the debt forgiveness is capped at 125,000 dollars per person. This is hardly rich, though that is not a bad wage. It is true that college educated people can have better outcomes over the course of their life. But this does not necessarily mean they start off from this platform, and that they do not need assistance. 

The Studentaid information site also implies the debt is being wiped, cancelled, or credited to them as paid. This would suggest that the monetary supply is about to be reduced. Money owed is being wiped from the system. This is both good, and necessary. Yes, this money was lent from government money, which is largely gathered from people's taxes. But the US, as a reserve currency, also have the ability to print its own money, and does do this often. In this case, it would appear it is doing the opposite, it is deleting money from the system, by wiping debts. But this is still not completely clear. 

But the best part of the plan is also to make student debt more affordable going forward:

"Income-based repayment plans have long existed within the U.S. Department of Education. However, the Biden-Harris Administration is proposing a rule to create a new income-driven repayment plan that will substantially reduce future monthly payments for lower- and middle-income borrowers.

The rule would:

  • Require borrowers to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income monthly on undergraduate loans. This is down from the 10% available under the most recent income-driven repayment plan.
  • Raise the amount of income that is considered non-discretionary income and therefore is protected from repayment, guaranteeing that no borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level—about the annual equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will have to make a monthly payment.
  • Forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments, instead of 20 years, for borrowers with loan balances of $12,000 or less.
  • Cover the borrower's unpaid monthly interest, so that unlike other existing income-driven repayment plans, no borrower's loan balance will grow as long as they make their monthly payments—even when that monthly payment is $0 because their income is low."
This is a remarkable policy and it actually brings the American College loan system closer to the Australia fee help system. This is a good partial step towards correcting injustice in their university system. They still need to do much more, like cutting off the supply of federal money to universities, which drives up the cost of degrees and courses, they need to make universities responsible for the loans they give, so they are incentivized to produce a better product. But as a start this is a better system than they currently have. 

These are not my full thoughts on this issue. I simply wanted to address what I saw as a lack about the information out there about this policy. Society wide debt forgiveness is needed, and we should be working towards it. It is not likely, but it is slightly more likely now than it was a week ago. This is a tiny step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. 

Sunday 28 August 2022

Completely Backwards

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I agree that excessive tax is theft. But not tax in general. Taxing is a legitimate and necessary activity of government. The Bible seems to imply about 20-30% of income being tax is the legitimate amount. Your taxes are not yours, according to Jesus, they are Caesars. 

However, usury (charging interest) is condemned in the Bible from being used on all but foreigners. Usury is a wicked practice that causes a lot of suffering in our world today, and in the past. 

So, as taxation is legitimate, and usury on your own citizens is theft, it would be legitimate for private citizens duly elected, or as lobbyists, to use the levers of government to a) ban interest, b) exact restitution for those suffering from interest, c) use taxation to cancel the debts of those in bondage to interest, and d) charge interest to foreigners (tariffs, loan interest, etc), to pay off debts for citizens. 

In other words those arguing interest charging (a significant part of debt) should be defended and it's not legitimate to use taxes to pay off debt, have it, biblically, exactly backwards. Especially if there is democratic desire for debt forgiveness. Tax, within reason is not theft. Favouring your citizens with money from taxes and interest charged to non-citizens is biblically commanded and allowed. 

Ergo, debt forgiveness can be achieved, is not theft, and is morally and practically required.

Thursday 25 August 2022

Elder's Wives - The Proverbs 31 Woman

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When electing elders it is vital that you not only get the right kind of man, but the right kind of man with the right kind of wife. This is vital.  

Elder’s Wives - Now some people think it is curious that none of these passages directly have advice for elder’s wives (unless you include 1 Tim. 3:11). Titus does address older women, which we will look at in the coming weeks. But why don’t these passages directly address elder's wives?

Some people might think that it does not address them, because it does not matter. A man should be chosen on his merits, and his wife’s character is not that vital. But I could not disagree more, because Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:4 – “4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?”

So, considering a man’s wife is part of his household, then how she follows her husband’s lead is vital.

So why does Paul not address elder’s wives directly?

Well, I think the answer to that is because the Bible has already done that brilliantly, in Proverbs 31. An oft misunderstood passage. Let’s look at it – “10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

Now, the reason this passage is so often misunderstood is two-fold. Firstly, it begins by saying, “An excellent wife who can find?” Most men consider their wives excellent, so they immediately see their wife as the Proverbs 31 wife. Who has the gall to say his wife is not excellent? But this passage defines excellent in a specific way. Second, people see this woman as highly active, even in the marketplace, “24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant,” so they confuse this with saying that she should be out working like her husband is.

But what this passage is describing is a man who manages his household well, verse 1-2 begins, 30:1-2 “1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: 2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?” Lemuel’s mother is giving him advice and wisdom about how to manage his kingdom, and his household. And in this context she tells him what kind of wife he will need to manage his household well, so he can be a leader among men.

Proverbs 31:10-11 – “10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”

What kind of wife does a leading man need? One to whom he can delegate the responsibilities of managing the home, which in this day, included negotiating in the town marketplace, so that he can focus on his job. And what is his job? To lead. To be an elder – “23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”

In other words, Proverbs 31 is describing to us the character of the elder’s wife. What is she like? She is the woman to whom he can trust with all the management of the household, so he can crush and win for them in society.

This man does not need to micromanage his wife. He does not need to take her role from her. He does not need to worry about being harangued for not taking her role. He simply focuses on his role outside the home, to lead, provide and manage the city. And she focuses on keeping the fort so he can do this.

She is the kind of wife Darryl Kerrigan has: And because Darryl has this kind of wife he can crush, he can win, in society.

This was the norm in our country not that long ago. But now guys like this are seen as sexist or misogynist. Which makes me laugh. When people criticize my old-fashioned ways, I like to laugh and say thanks for noticing.

If you have ever wondered where are all Australia’s leading men have gone? They are buried under the weight of seeking to live in egalitarian homes without clear gender boundaries. Why? Because a wife such as this is hard to find today.

Now, we live in a society where a man is told from every direction he is supposed to be encouraging his wife to give half of the Proverbs 31 duties to him. And that he is supposed to give half of his duties to her. 

This is why there is a dearth of the right kind of leadership in the church and in society. Because the church decided to reject traditional gender roles, and now most men and women are worn out, society is confused, and there are less and less men with wives like this to choose from. That is something to ponder.

So, not only does the Bible address the elder’s wife, it does it in a beautiful and brilliant way, that it appears Paul felt no need to add to. 

This is an excerpt from a sermon, you can hear the rest of this message here

Wednesday 24 August 2022

You Will Own Something And Not Be Able To Sell It

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The next stage of attacking middle class wealth is gearing up. You will be able to own something, but the financial powers won't insure it, or finance people to buy it:

"There is a staggering $31 billion worth of mortgages with the Commonwealth Bank where owners’ homes are exposed to “extreme” weather events, a new report has revealed.

The analysis from the CBA and CSIRO found that around $31.2 billion in home loans were in areas “exposed to increasing risk such as cyclone-exposed coastal regions, low-lying flood plains and rural areas in close proximity to the urban fringe”.

Drilling down, it said there were 38,000 properties with mortgages worth a combined $11 billion at high risk of exposure to cyclones, while 56,000 properties equalling $19 billion in home loans are at risk of floods and 5000 with $2 billion in mortgages are at risk of fire...

...The Reserve Bank of Australia has also warned that homeowners could see the value of their properties drop dramatically as a result of climate change and wild weather, which would also leave banks in a difficult position of recouping losses if someone was to default on their loan.

It identified 3.5 per cent of properties across Australia that were at “high risk” from climate damage.

A recent study found more than half a million Australian homes will be deemed ‘uninsurable’ by 2030 as worsening weather wreaks havoc on the nation."

Cyclones, floods and fires. This is the land of cyclones, floods and fires. So much so that these events are etched into our popular culture songs: 

"Out on the patio we'd sit
And the humidity we'd breathe
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia."

The land of drys and hardcore wets. Of lightning storms and cyclones. These events are even found in our worship songs as allegory:

"This is the great southland of the Holy Spirit
A land of red dust plains and summer rains
To this sunburnt land we will see a flood
And to this great southland His Spirit comes."

The image of floods here is deep in the Aussie psyche. In fact large swathes of Australia are dependent on floods to water dry and cracked ground each year. Our northern summer wets are famous. And using this imagery to illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit reaches deep into that Aussie psyche. 

But in recent decades these deeply Aussie events have been used to drive home the Climate reset agenda, which has gone by various names. Now banks are starting to use it to take away the surety of much of Australia's middle class stability: that at least they can own a home and have it protected from our historically extreme weather. You will own something, but it won't be secure.  

The new attack on middle class wealth is ramping up, and many Aussies lack of connection to their own land is allowing these corporations to sell it as necessary for climate change reasons. 

This has always been the land of cyclones, floods and fires, and it always will. Nothing is changing that. But it appears we are no longer the land of the Aussue dream of a man secure in his castle with his family. 

Tuesday 23 August 2022

A One Woman Man

The Bible gives us some clear directions about who we should appoint as elders/pastors in a church. It cannot just be any person, or even any man. We need to carefully and biblically select the right men to lead. An elder must be, according to Paul in Titus 1 needs to be the husband of one wife. 

A One Woman Man (v.6) – We will spend a fair bit of time on this next section, because it is both very clear and also incredibly ignored, “6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination…9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” So, unless you believe twisted things about gender expression, then Paul is 100% clear that teaching elders must be godly men, who are above reproach. Scripture is consistent on this issue. 

Above reproach – This means above credible accusation, above suspicion.

Above reproach means, he does not spend time alone with women that he should not, or spend time with women in a way that he should not. Billy Graham had a wonderful rule where he would not be alone with a woman, so as to not allow either opportunity for sin, or opportunity for accusation.

Martin Luther King Jnr, who is often thought of as great man of God, falsely, is well known for having cheated on his wife often. It was caught on tape. There are reports of even worse things happening. Not only was he not above reproach, the FBI had him on record doing these things.

Above reproach means he does not handle money in a dishonest way.

Above reproach means he doesn’t try to keep the running of the church hidden from people. But the Church finances are an open book. In fact, if he is wise, he handles the money in the view of others, so that there is no occasion for accusation. Or he delegates the handling of money, like Jesus did.

This doesn’t mean he won’t be accused. Because people even do try to accuse honest men. But he’ll be able to say, “Look I was never even alone with her, I don’t handle the money, and the whole church agreed on this expense being spent.”

Men – The teaching elder/pastor must be a man. I don’t know what command the modern church ignores the most. Is it the commands to evangelize? Or to avoid gluttony? To avoid pornea? To not seek the approval of man? I don’t know what it is, only God does I guess. But this is a common one, and it is growing. So much of the Church ignores the patriarchal teaching in God’s word. Patriarchy means leadership in society, church and home by men, and they ignore it to the detriment of society, church and men. The Bible is absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably, and unrepentantly patriarchal: “…appoint elders in every town as I directed you…the husband of one wife.” This excludes women, and it excludes polygamists. This is not an accident. Ancient pagan religion encouraged women to be priests, and it often gave male priests such power they could get access to many wives.

In fact, when we studied the cults a couple of years ago at Bible study, people were surprised how many of them allow polygamy.

Christianity is against both of these things. Christianity is anti-matriarchal, that is against being woman led, and anti-polygamist, that is against men hoarding woman.

I am not saying churches that do not follow this are not churches. They are simply churches that are out of order. They are churches acting in rebellion. This is not my opinion, this is a consistent teaching in Scripture, and church history, until about 100 or so years ago. Let me demonstrate.

Paul was consistent - 

1 Timothy 2:11-13 – “11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

This doesn’t apply to worship leading, because Miriam, Moses’s sister led worship in Israel.

1 Timothy 3:1-2 – “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…”

It is impossible to be the husband of one wife, unless you are a man.

Jesus set this standard himself – when he chose 12 men to be leaders of his Church movement. Matthew 10:1-4 – “1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” 

If there was ever any man who flouted ungodly traditions more than any other, it was Jesus. Jesus had no respect, and in fact, utter contempt, for any human tradition that sought to overrule God’s traditions and God’s heart for humanity. He healed on the sabbath, made clay on the sabbath, triggering the Pharisees, said it was ok for his disciples to ground grain on the sabbath. He used imagery offensive to the Jewish people when teaching after feeding the 5000 in John 6. He railed against the Jewish leaders for abusing their positions of power with extra-biblical commands. He insulted men who deserved it, he insulted women who deserved it. He did not care, one iota, for human culture and traditions.

So, when Jesus chose twelve Jewish men, we can be absolutely certain that he was not just following the traditions of his age. He was not trying to be culturally sensitive. He was following a template outlined since creation: that God has given the man authority to name, and the woman the role of helpmate.

Both are vital, necessary and important roles. Neither to be disparaged, but also neither to be confused.

There are "Christians" today that believe if Jesus was around today he would have chosen 3 white Apostles, 3 black apostles, 3 Asian apostles, 3 mixed race apostles, 6 male Apostles, 6 women apostles, and a combination of gender expressions in the mix. As opposed to 12 men all of the same ethnic background. A lot of Christianity today is more disconnected from the Bible than it has ever been in any period of history ever.

But Jesus did not care about being culturally sensitive, he established a patriarchal church leadership. Patriarchal in the Christian sense, means, God the father, who is the first patriarch, God the son, who is equal with the father, and man who is far below God, but his steward in authority.

The choosing of the twelve is pretty explicit, but there is another just as important passage.

Jezebel – Jesus says this in Revelation 2:19-21 – “19 ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.”

Now people tend to focus in on her sexual immorality here, in this passage. Which makes sense, as the sexual immorality is highlighted. But they miss that Jesus notes three problems with Jezebel – 1) she assumes authority, 2) she presumes to teach, 3) she is not chaste. Why is this significant?

Because this is the exact reverse image of what Paul says a woman should be in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, 15 – “11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet… 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” Paul gives the exact same list, but from the other perspective: a godly women is one who 1) does not seek to teach men, 2) does not seek authority over men, 3) she is sexually righteous, exemplified by seeking to be a mother, and not like Jezebel.

You can summarize what Paul says here as simply: don’t seek to be like Jezebel. In fact, this is where the idea of the Jezebel spirit comes from. Technically, the correct term should be “Asherah Spirit”, but to explain that would take an entire sermon or two itself.

These men need to not just be this way, but guard the church from rejecting these traditions handed on by Paul, “9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” These men who are above reproach need to make sure that these traditions are guarded. Not all tradition should be rejected, many traditions are good and protect us from bad things happening. The traditions the Bible itself hands down exist to guard the church from serious evil.

Sticking to the strong biblical tradition of patriarchal leadership, protects the church from many errors.

Just this week I saw an Anglican minister brag about how his church has allowed female pastors for some time, and on the exact same day, that denomination was splitting over gender issues, because the highly feminized Anglican leadership was allowing for homosexual leaders in their churches.

But here is another point: many of the famous evangelical leaders, that have pushed for women in ministry, have been revealed as having acted inappropriately with the women around them. Their desire to work closely to women should be seen not as progressive, but as a warning sign, or at the very least as foolish disregard for wisdom.

So, one-woman men, with good character, whose children are believers, are the only options for leadership. But what about their wives? 

This is an excerpt from a sermon, to hear the rest of this message click here.


Monday 22 August 2022

The Inquiries Begin

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My first response to seeing this news is to celebrate and rejoice. My second response it to not get my hopes up. My third is to pray and call others to pray that:

- The inquiry would not be too limited. 

- The leading government officials who greatly broke the bounds of justice and equity would not get immunity. 

- The power of the commission to investigate pharmaceutical companies is used. 

- Justice is done

"The Federal Government will call a royal commission or similar inquiry into Australia's response to the COVID pandemic "as soon as practicable" - an inquiry which would mostly focus on the response of the Federal Government but would also look at state governments' responses to the pandemic, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told Sunday Agenda.

Asked if such a body, when it is set up, would look only at the federal government response or also state governments, Mr Albanese said: "You'd need to look at the response of all governments."

Sunday 21 August 2022

Depopulationist 4d Chess

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There was a lot of talk during the Trump administration about the Great man's ability to outmanoeuvre his opponents. Maybe some of that was true, but the evidence over time would suggest he has been outdone, to date. He clearly did not have as much in hand as people thought. 

But there are a group of powerful people, who clearly are skilled at playing society at multiple levels, the ones behind the pandemic response, the lockdowns, the mandates, and recent drops in fertility rates and more. Because, their openly stated goals, that the population of the earth should be lowered, are clearly being achieved to one degree or another. And they are achieving these goals in ways that many people would see as side effects, not intentional results, of their policies. 

"Divorce applications reach 10-year peak.

Ms Trunfio is part of a growing number of Australians filing for divorce.

Divorce applications over the past two years at the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia reached their highest number in more than a decade.

Sociologists said while lockdowns and other pandemic-related stresses have certainly played a role, there were other factors at play too.

Curtin University Professor of Sociology Farida Fozdar said our social norms had changed. 

"People understand that there's a range of reasons why marriages may not work out," she said.

"There has been a change in the way people see themselves and their relationships more generally. 

"Often divorces may occur because people aren't feeling fulfilled as individuals within their relationships and therefore, they decide to do as Gwyneth Paltrow [described as] 'conscious uncoupling'."

Paltrow used the term to describe her split with husband Chris Martin in 2014 in reference to how the couple learned to live apart from each other, while still sharing events and moments together as they co-parented their children. 

Ms Fozdar said the movie-star-turned-wellness-advocate certainly brought the concept of amicable separations into popular consciousness.

"Cultural icons, like actors and popular musicians and so on, actually have a lot of influence over public attitudes," she said.

At first, Paltrow was mocked for using the expression — but fast-forward to today, and it's a concept many around the world are embracing."

I say 4d chess, because the effect on relationships of lockdowns was easy to predict and obvious to see coming. The increases in divorce, and relationship breakdown, from lockdowns and more cannot be seen as accidental, because the results and responses to lockdowns were wargamed in various international events, before they were enacted on entire countries. 

But they are only a small part of a larger attack on society's ability to create stable child rearing families. The plethora of ways that marriages are subtly whiteanted by our culture are uncountable, and these cultural influences create a situation where divorce is incentivised, and where marriages become less viable places to raise kids, and therefore less kids are born. 

Why just take direct action to depopulate the earth, when you can also convince your victims to willingly do it for you? Get them from both sides. Effect their ability, desire and opportunity to reproduce and you win in every direction. For a time, at least. 

The incredible money and fame given to anti-family, anti-Christian and anti-marriage celebrities and media influencers is clearly bearing results for those who believe there are too many people. And what's worse is that you and you, and that guy over there, not that guy or that guy, but that guy up the back and the other guy, are all willingly helping this happen, by buying the Hollywood, media landscape nonsense in many ways. 

Whenever you hear an anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-children message you are hearing lies that train you to deny your inherent nature: to create families, by getting married and having children. The future will be won by those who don't full for the nonsense. Don't give them the satisfaction of "evolving" according to their plans. Spite them by staying married, having kids and ignoring their lies. 

Saturday 20 August 2022

The Great Man Paul

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Was once the terrible man Saul. There are people who believe God cannot save him. To such people I encourage them to look at Paul, the Apostle:

The Great Man Paul – (v. 1) Paul begins in Titus 1:1 by identifying himself, “1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Now these are words that you could easily skip over. Because there is nothing remarkable about what they mean. His name is Paul, he is a servant of God and commissioned officer of Jesus. This is pretty self-explanatory right? But think about this, this Paul guy was originally someone very different.

Saul – Paul was originally Saul, a Pharisee of Pharisees. The first time we see him in the Bible this is how we see him described – Acts 7:54-8:3 – “54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. 8:1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.”

We see here that Paul was one of the worst kinds of people. The kind of guy that hated Jesus, hated the Apostles, and hated everything about Christianity. He was in every way a zealous persecutor of Christians and even identified himself as such, Philippians 3:6 - “6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.”

We often hear it said that Paul was a murderer of Christians, and you could read his approval of Stephen’s execution this way. But this is not said directly.

His approval could mean that he was ok with it, and happy it was happening, which makes him a bad guy.

Or that they had to seek his approval to do so, in that case, then sure, then he is an accomplice to murder.  

Either way, he was happy to see Christians suffer, die and be punished in various ways. And he was definitely putting Christians in jail and persecuting them brutally, and there’s no doubt many of these Christians would have been treated harshly by the Jews in power at the time.

The closest we get to the Bible directly saying Paul was a murderer is Acts 9:1-2 - “1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Paul here is not being described as a murderer, but as someone who was screaming bloody murder at the Jewish Christians.

Perhaps you can read this as Paul being a murderer, and that’s fine if you do. I am not saying he wasn’t, just that it is not as clear as most say.  

But make no mistake, he would have aided in their executions and stoning’s. No doubt. But he would have seen himself not as a murderer but as a righteous agent of God’s law, which prescribed punishment for idol worshippers.

As Paul says, zealously handing over heretics to be persecuted was his duty to his people. Philippians 3:6 - “4If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.”

Paul - But however, you want to exactly slice it, Paul was in every way a bad guy. He was the Taliban. He was the KGB. He was the German Stasi. He was the agent of Jewish power to bring to bear destruction against Christianity. But then he was made into not just an Apostle, but one of the greatest apostles. What happened? He encountered Jesus, there are some wonderful passages that explore this, but the one I want to look at is 1 Corinthians 15 –

1 Corinthians 15:8-11 – “8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

What changed Paul was that he encountered Jesus. On that Damascus road the grace of God changed him and changed him forever. Paul went from being an agent of Jewish persecution against the Church, and became a servant of God’s chosen people, the Church.

When Paul says the Church is the elect, he is saying: they are the chosen people. That is what elect means, it means we are the Chosen ones, we are God’s special people.

Imagine how this impacted Paul. Imagine the impact this had on his life. He believed he was protecting God’s people, but then he encountered Jesus and found out that he was harming God’s people.

This changed Paul forever. He was always deeply committed to the people of God, he had just gotten this wrong, because he was deceived, and once he was transformed he dedicated his life to becoming a zealous messenger of the gospel, and apostle.  

Apostle - An Apostle in the ancient world was a military commission. A general would commission one of his officers to achieve a particular task. When Jesus stands on the mountain and addresses his 11 disciples in Matthew 28, he is commissioning them as his representative officers. That is why it is called “the Great Commission”. Many would argue, and I would probably agree with them, that Jesus chose Paul to be his 12th Apostle.

Jesus chose this maybe Christian murdering, at best Christian persecuting, zealot, to be one of the greatest Apostle’s and the author of much of the New Testament. Wow!!

The transforming gospel - this highlights the transforming power of the gospel of God. Paul’s life and testimony is an important gauge of the grace of God. A lot of people misunderstand the grace of God. Some people think it just means undeserved blessings. It does mean this, but note, Paul’s summation of it shows it means much more than this.

The grace of God is effectual power that changes your life. No one can encounter the grace of God and not be radically changed, “10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” (share Paul washer truck illustration).

The radical change in Paul’s life, shows that when God changes a man or a woman, that it radically changes their entire orientation in life. You will not become perfect, that happens in the next life. But you will become a changed person that advances the kingdom of light, just as surely as you were advancing darkness in your unsaved life.

Paul’s life highlights this in an amazing way. Which is why we should listen to Paul when he tells us what God does with his elect, let’s keep reading.

To hear the full sermon listen here


Friday 19 August 2022

Get Out If You Can

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Australians have to stop interfering in Indigenous communities. It needs to stop

"The end of a 'race-based policy' which saw alcohol banned in indigenous communities for 15 years has resulted in an immediate spike in violence and booze related injuries. 

In the first 48 hours after the Albanese Government lifted the ban on July 17, Alice Springs Police recorded 54 domestic-violence incidents with Aboriginal health advocates claiming 'things have not settled' in the three weeks since the restrictions were lifted. 

The Northern Territory's Associations and Liquor Amendment Bill 2022 passed in May gave Indigenous communities the choice to 'opt-in' to a two-year extension of their alcohol-free status."

For qualification, I'm not saying lifting the ban on alcohol is interference. I am talking about the paternal approach Australian governments take to Indigenous communities in general. 

If I were one of the people in these communities I would find a way to get out. I think such communities have a right to exist, and a right to self-determination, and a right to have alcohol sold in their towns if they want it. They should be free to make their own decisions, in fact they should be free from outside interference as much as they desire. But I can't see any advantage to yourself, or your family, to continue to live in a dysfunctional community.

Note: I know that not all these communities are dysfunctional, praise God, and the one's that aren't, I have heard, are incredible places to visit. Also note: I know how deeply many indigenous Aussies are connected to their land. I know it is a powerful and spiritual element of their identity. It's not one that most white fellas understand, but that doesn't make it any less significant. Note: I also sympathize with indigenous people for having lost sovereignty over their lands, and being conquered (however slowly and peacefully it happened, it is still conquest when you no longer get to rule yourselves) by another people. Before you get all annoyed at me agreeing with a "leftist" talking point note this: Anglo-Saxon Aussies are slowly losing the land, now, just as our indigenous Aussie brothers did. Things come around. Defensively denying them doesn't change reality.

But all that being said, I genuinely believe if you can get out of a dysfunctional community, then you should, and all our efforts should be put towards making that goal possible for those that want to.  Because then they have a chance of leaving behind an old way, for potentially a better way. Anglo-Saxon society improved when our ancestors rejected their pagan ways and moved towards a Christian way of seeing the world. This cycle has been true of many peoples.

But that is all we should do. We should not be seeking to parent the struggling communities. Because in doing so we impose a form of cultural limbo that keeps these communities in a deplorable state. 

These are just my thoughts. They could be applied to many non-indigenous communities as well.

Thursday 18 August 2022

Christian Private Schools Face A Challenging Near Future

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There is a time coming, not too far away, when Christian education in fact, not in name, but in fact, will either be a) illegal, or b) too prone to litigation to be viably possible.

What I mean by that, is that many Christian schools will be so afraid of litigation, that they will allow all sorts of anti-Christian philosophies and gender ideas to run rampant in the schools, because ultimately private schools are a business, and they will not be able to afford not to. And they will be too afraid to lose out on funding and fees to do the right thing. 

That is unless the Church seeks to asserts its influence politically to avoid this fate. However, at the moment Christians are being told by many of their leaders it is their Christian duty not to assert themselves politically. So the chances of this are unlikely. 

Either way, read this article, and you will see, that Christians schools might be tolerating ideas that you do not want your kids to be around.  

"The independent Baptist school that prides itself on being a 'safe place' for marginalised children said in a statement they saw 'no evidence' Harley met the requirements.

'These requirements include potential students not being enrolled at or attending another school,' Carinity Education Southside said in a statement.

'Carinity Education is supportive of transgender students. Across our schooling network we have a number of students who identify as transgender.

'We were sadly unable to offer this student the opportunity to enroll at our school as they did not provide us with evidence that they met the requirements for admission to a special assistance school.'

The school added that their 'hearts go out to this child and we would like to work with the student's parents to find a schooling environment where their child will thrive.'"

Trying to play the nice, happy, we are ok with everything strategy, is going to cause massive issues for Churches very soon. It already is. How about just saying: we are not ok with parents doing this, and can't support it? 

Either way, home-schooling is the way forward. 



This is a guest piece, this blog first appeared on R L Watson's Website.

As I was finalising the manuscript to my book Forgotten Covenant, I was inspired by a podcast about creeds and confessions to put together a preface for my book. Written in the form of a letter to the reader, it offers my explanation of why making a case for a secondary theological issue matters, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to express and engage with these kinds of disagreements. But like what I did with Why then the Law?, I thought I would leave it out and publish it elsewhere. 

Below is the preface that I have modified somewhat to make it more suitable for this format and purpose as we seek to understand: how are we to respond when we encounter theological disagreement?

To the Reader,

I would like to thank you for opening this book. Not so much because it supports me, although that is very appreciated, but rather because it means you take theology seriously. You want to have a good understanding of God’s Word and what it has to teach us about God, the Gospel, and righteous living. And for that, I sincerely encourage you.

What I discuss in the book I’ve been working on, Forgotten Covenant, is a topic that not only fascinates me, but addresses a question that I believe is important if we are to be equipped to be effective students, and for some, teachers of the Word. Many throughout Church History have presented views and perspectives on the question of the unity and continuity of Scripture and have arrived at different conclusions. And although there is disagreement, what matters to me is that there is still solidarity in the recognition of the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, for this is where we find the unity that counts. I am happy to agree to disagree over minor differences in interpretations. As I hope many of you discover about me, even if we disagree on any of my interpretations of scripture and the conclusions regarding secondary matters, I hope we can find agreement in the fact that having a robust, biblical theology matters. 

So perhaps you may be wondering, ‘if it is only a secondary matter, why bother writing this book? Why spend three to four years researching, writing, and editing such a long work about a topic when if we disagree, that’s okay?’ I think this is a very valid question to ask because it can help us as we engage with other believers on a multitude of issues. And so, here is my response.

I have found that some Christians are afraid of ‘theology’ because of how disagreements can result in division. As a result, ‘No creed but Christ’ becomes their confession. I’m quite convinced that this position starts with a tainted view of the idea of ‘debate’ and ‘argument’. Many hear the word and immediately think of the negative connotations of conflict, criticism, exclusion and aggression. But a debate is merely the formal discussion of opposing positions, and an argument is a reason for holding to a particular view. And while it must be acknowledged that the negative expressions of these words do exist, and the imbalances of the proud who see minor matters as Gospel issues are worthy of critique, indifference is not the right response either.  

The Epistle of Jude sits within this tension of addressing disagreement and ignoring differences. The letter begins by encouraging the Church to ‘contend for the faith’ (v.3) against those who have snuck in and ‘perverted the grace of God’ and denied the Lordship of Christ (v.4). This is why in Galatians 2 it doesn’t say, “…before certain men came from James, Peter was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said nothing to Cephas because everyone is on a journey and I’d rather maintain peace and unity.”

Yet, towards the end of Jude, it condemns those who create divisions (v.19). Note that the dividers who are condemned are the ones who do so by promoting falsehood and ‘ungodly passions’, not those who separate themselves from the false teachers. What this means for us is that we should care about true doctrine, and as a result, be intolerant of those who promote lies and sin (Rev 2:20). If someone promotes cheap grace, or rejects the Trinity, the exclusivity of Christ, or salvation by faith alone, it’s important to assume first that they may be misinformed, confused, or perhaps not expressing their position clearly. So love them enough to ask questions, give scripture, gently lead them towards the truth, and if they are genuine they will be open to wanting to understand more. But if even after this they still reject it whole-heartedly, continue to pray for and love them, but also recognise that they hold to a different religion.

But what about responding to disagreements over non-essential matters when both of us are appealing to Scripture? Indifference, still, is not the response.

Gresham Machen in his book Christianity and Liberalism (2009) explains that although differences in theology can create divisions, indifference is worse. Drawing on the disagreements between the Reformers regarding the Lord’s Supper, he concludes: 

“Luther was wrong about the Supper, but not nearly so wrong as he would have been if, being wrong, he said to his opponents: ‘Brethren, this matter is a trifle; and it makes really very little difference what a man thinks about the table of the Lord.’ Such indifferentism would have been far more deadly than all the divisions between the branches of the Church. A Luther who would have compromised… would never have said at the Diet of Worms, ‘Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me, Amen.’ Indifferentism about doctrine makes no heroes of the faith” (p.42).

If we are to continue in the Protestant tradition, we must have strong theological convictions that are shaped by Scripture. Being indifferent and maintaining the doctrinal status quo in the name of peace and unity is not the solution to theological disagreements. Not that we become arrogant nor Pharisaical about it, calling all who differ with us on these non-essential matters, heretics. Instead, what this looks like is the confidence to express: ‘Here is what I believe and why.’ Moreover, it should allow us to be open to review and examine our own theology as we consider other views, provided that their position is shaped and formed by Scripture too. In so doing, this is iron sharpening iron (Prov 27:17), refining our understanding of God and His Word. This principle is how the inspiration for my book came about.

While discussing theology with those who disagree with me on some secondary matters, I found for some, their positions on a number of topics (in particular those covered in the book) were based more on tradition and selective (sometimes misrepresented) passages, rather than a deep and informed hermeneutic. And instead of wanting to discuss our views and interpretations meaningfully, they prefer to avoid healthy debate. And so, although the ideas covered in Forgotten Covenant are nowhere near as important as Jude’s issues, I wanted to write something that both allows me to present my position on the unity of Scripture. Moreover, I wanted to invite people to consider what I have to say and to think critically and reflect biblically about their position too. And although that is where the book started, this work for me is much more than wanting to change anyone’s mind. It is, more importantly, about helping people to not only better understand how to put the parts of the Bible together, but also to see the beauty in its unity and the devotion and sovereignty with which the Lord fulfils His promises. In short, my goal is ultimately to glorify the majesty of God. One cannot glorify God with theological pacifism. 

So when you encounter someone with a different theology, 

- Ask yourself if it is a definitional, gospel issue.

- Respectfully ask them how they defend their position.

- Don’t be afraid to politely press on perceived inconsistencies and offer your reasons for your own view.

- When you can find agreement on the essentials, serve together in the mission of the Kingdom, remembering that this is what really matters. 

Blessings in Christ,

R.L Watson.

Forgotten Covenant is now available online from many of your favourite book stores.